Sunday, June 12, 2005

Personalised Web Pages

Personalised direct mail has been with us for many years. You know the stuff:

"Only you, Joe Bloggs, has been selected from the residents in High Street, Anytown, to receive this offer".

Old technique! But still effective.

Personalised emails are now also well established. I start my weekly newsletter, "Marketing Magic News Update" with:


.. and my autoresponder picks up from its database the first name of each recipient, and personalises it: "Dear Joe"

Again, not a cutting technique.

How about personalised web pages? There's a variety of techniques.

The simplest is one which gets a website visitor to enter their first name in a form. When they submit the form, the resultant web page is personalised with their name, wherever the webmaster chooses to insert the personalisation.

I've got a simple little PHP script which enables me to send out my newsletter to my subscribers which contains URLs such as:{FIRSTNAME}

Again my autoresponder picks up the subscriber's name from the database, and inserts it wherever I put a bit of code on the page.

There's also a third technique which works on any web page found by a search engine. It picks up the key words (or phrases) which the visitor used to find your page, and repeats them wherever you want - for example, in a headline:

Wanting to find keyword or phrase? You've come to the right place!

But do all these personalisation techniques work? I've yet to be convinced.

I'd appreciate your comments here on this.

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